Thursday, February 22
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Oman, Russia explore cultural collaboration with prospective ‘Russian Seasons’ programme

11 Feb 2024 Oman in talks to host 'Russian Seasons' By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – Oman is holding discussions with Russia to host the international cultural programme ‘Russian Seasons’, marking a significant step in cultural diplomacy between the two nations.

On Sunday, H E Salem bin Mohammed al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism, held discussions with Olga Borisovna Lyubimova, Russian Minister of Culture.

Their meeting centred on strengthening bilateral ties in tourism, culture and heritage, including the possibility of Oman hosting the Russian Seasons. The ministers also deliberated on organising joint programmes and enhancing cooperation with Russian museums, building on the success of existing partnerships, notably with Russia’s esteemed State Hermitage Museum.

The discussions come in the wake of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Muscat in July 2023, when he expressed interest in showcasing Russian artistic talent in Oman through tours and exhibitions drawn from Russia’s premier museums. “There is interest in organising tours for Russian performers and, probably, the ambitious Russian Seasons tours in Oman,” he said.

Russian Seasons is an expansive initiative designed to showcase the richness of Russian culture globally. It encompasses a wide array of cultural presentations, including performances by theatre groups and orchestras, museum exhibitions, circus shows and educational activities, reaching an international audience with the essence of Russian traditions.

Since its inception, Russian Seasons has successfully toured Japan, Italy, Germany, and more recently, South Korea and Belgium. The programme’s journey continued through Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in 2023, with Brazil slated as the upcoming host this year. Looking ahead, Bahrain is set to welcome Russian Seasons in 2025, commemorating 35 years of diplomatic relations between Russia and Bahrain.

Additionally, the ministers discussed strategies to enhance Oman’s tourism visibility in Russia, including establishing a tourism representative office and fostering investment and capacity-building cooperation.

A joint executive programme is envisaged to further these goals, facilitating broader collaboration through events and meetings in partnership with the private sector. This initiative promises to open new avenues for cooperation and cultural exchange between Oman and Russia, enriching the cultural landscape of both nations.

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